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Default Siege of Dragonspear - Creator of Forgotten Realms Reacts

April 6th, 2016, 15:27
Ed Greenwood, the original creator of Forgotten Realms, reacts to the turmoil around Siege of Dragonspear on his Facebook page.

I am saddened by what I hear of the current kerfluffle raging about Siege of Dragonspear and the trans character Amber Scott designed and included in it.
Folks, the Realms have ALWAYS had characters (mortals and deities) who crossdressed, changed gender (and not just to sneak past guards in an adventure, by way of shapeshifting magic or illusions), were actively bisexual, and openly gay. How underscored this was by TSR and later Wizards varied over time, and was always softpedaled, because D&D wasn't a sex game, and we generally don't rub the reader's nose in sex unless there's a good in-story reason for it.
But even deities have changed gender, sometimes for good, and the servants of deities (Elminster, in ELMINSTER: THE MAKING OF A MAGE) have sometimes been forced by the deity to "spend time as the other" to learn what life is like.
So it has always been there, and is an integral part of the Realms. With that said, I've never met a gamer yet who doesn't tinker with every adventure to "make it their own" at their own gaming table, so if trans, LGBT, or sexual matters at all don't suit your tastes and needs in your gaming sessions, leave it out or change it.
But D&D has half-orcs, and half-dragons, and half-elves, and has magic items that specifically change gender, right there in the rules. Surely, if you can handle the basic notion of cross-SPECIES sex, having a full variety of gender roles should be something that doesn't blow your mind. If it's not for you, that's fine. I hate wearing certain shades of yellow. But I don't scream and yell at someone I see wearing those shades of yellow, and call them names, and threaten things. My right to dislike yellow applies to me; it doesn't extend to others. Because somehow, through an incredible oversight on the part of the universe that still hasn't been rectified, no one made me a god. (I'm still crushed.)
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April 6th, 2016, 15:27
I honestly believe this whole turmoil is an unwanted side effect of Bioware's recent output.
They pioneered romance, sex, gay and other stuff in their writing.
They thought this was all bold, progressive, and most of all, politically correct (helloooo XXI. century!)

This is all admirable, mind you, but I believe a heroic fantasy setting does not need any of this.

Imagine a bloodthirsty Conan story with gay stuff thrown in.
Or, the opposite, imagine the wonderful Priscilla / Wong Foo movies in a testosterone filled Mad Max setting.
So wrong, isn't it?
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April 6th, 2016, 15:31
Thanks for the tip, it does not suit my tastes so I'll avoid this one. Pity was looking forward to release.
The subtle romance offered in the original games were more to my values and taste. I can see why people are complaining.
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April 6th, 2016, 15:32
Couldn't agree more with this opinion.
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April 6th, 2016, 15:33
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
Imagine a bloodthirsty Conan story with gay stuff thrown in.
not to burst your bubble but I can so see the audience for that

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April 6th, 2016, 15:34
I think it's worth pointing out that the idea that sexuality and gender are modern concerns that have no place in a mythic setting is also misconceived.

Here is a section from Plato's Symposium, if anyone's interested:

The original human nature was not like the present, but different. The sexes were not two, as they are now, but originally three in number; there was man, woman, and a union of the two. Terrible was their might and strength, and the thoughts of their hearts were great, and they dared to scale the heavens, and they made an attack on the Gods.

The Gods took council and Zeus discovered a way to humble their pride and improve their manners. They would continue to exist, but he cut them in two like a sorb-apple which is halved for pickling.

After the division, the two parts of man (the Androgyne), each desiring his other half, came together and throwing their arms around one another, entwined in mutual embraces, longing to grow into one; they were on the point of dying from hunger and self-neglect because they did not like to do anything apart; and when one of the halves died and the other survived, the survivor sought another mate, man or woman, as we call them--being the sections of entire men or women--and clung to that.

They were being destroyed when Zeus, in pity of them, invented a new plan. He turned the parts of generation round to the front, for this had not always been their position, and they sowed the seed no longer as hitherto like grasshoppers, in the ground, but in one another; and after the transposition the male generated in the female in order that by mutual embraces of man and woman they might breed and the race might continue; or if man came to man they might be satisfied, and rest, and go their ways to the business of life: so ancient is the desire of one another which is implanted within us, reuniting our original nature, making one of two, and healing the state of man.

Each of us, when separated, having one side only, like a flat fish, is but the identure of a man, and is always looking for his other half….and when one of them meets with his other half, the actual half of himself……..the pair are lost in an amazement of love and friendship and intimacy, and one will not be out of the other's sight
It's not a stretch to say that Greek mythology and the writings of the Greek philosophers are foundation stones of western civilisation. Here we have Zeus performing gender reassignment surgery to explain the nature of romantic love and homosexuality, in the very creation myth of humanity. To suggest that these things are modern concerns, and have no place in a mythic setting, really is bonkers.
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April 6th, 2016, 15:47
we generally don't rub the reader's nose in sex unless there's a good in-story reason for it.
I found that line quite interesting
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April 6th, 2016, 15:49
Imagine a bloodthirsty Conan story with gay stuff thrown in.

Originally Posted by Sacred_Path View Post
not to burst your bubble but I can so see the audience for that
… hey, how about Elminster in drag?
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April 6th, 2016, 15:52
One value I liked in the earlier games was when pursuing one romantic option other options were shut off. (commitment is not a bad value to promote and I appreciated it)
It was to my taste to have the choice whether or not to pursue romance.
Having a gay Andor flirt with my Character the whole Dragon Age 2 was not fun. (He's the healer so he's forced on you.)
It has been a long time since I played the originals so might be remembering them wrong.
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April 6th, 2016, 16:06
I have two feelings that are a bit negative. The first is how beamdog handle controversy. Rather than let the rage burn out they try to snuff it out which only fuels the rage. The second from reading a lot of the posts and comments; the issue isn't so much that the facet exist but that it is not presented as a natural flow rather it is in your face. I want to stress that I have not played the game but having seen some of the flow presented this is a bit of an indication of poor writing by Amber. The subject matter is (imho) ok (though I personally wouldn't really push it but rather use it only if it happens to fit the setting) but she goes one step too far in how she presents it. I.e, the way to present it makes it more of an agenda then something that just happened and I think this is what pisses people off. Does it bother me; not really - I mean I could do without the preaching but it won't break the game if the rest is enjoyable.
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April 6th, 2016, 16:09
That's a great comment by Greenwood.
And I don't get the argument some people make that topics like homosexuality don't fit within a fantasy setting. I think that most things that existed during the medieval period fit in a fantasy setting. And I'm pretty sure a lot of people were homosexual back then too.
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April 6th, 2016, 16:17
Originally Posted by Canjono View Post
That's a great comment by Greenwood.
And I don't get the argument some people make that topics like homosexuality don't fit within a fantasy setting. I think that most things that existed during the medieval period fit in a fantasy setting. And I'm pretty sure a lot of people were homosexual back then too.
I don't believe people object to homosexuality etc. I mean Dragon Age Inquisition had lot of it and it never got any backlash as far as I am aware. The problem with this SoD was that the writer had lot of political issues with the original BG games (she said so in couple of forums posts) and characters and they decided to change it and that got people mad…

Think what will happen if someone came along and took LOTR and changed it to reflect their own polities, then people are going get mad and rightly so in my opinion since it shows a massive lack of respect for the original work
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April 6th, 2016, 16:25
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
I don't believe people object to homosexuality etc. I mean Dragon Age Inquisition had lot of it and it never got any backlash as far as I am aware.
You must be kidding! There was a very similar fuss made at the time about "SJWs" pushing their gay inclusivity agenda, loads of 0 reviews to skew metacritic, and even a very similar long thread on here with all the same arguments!
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April 6th, 2016, 16:27
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
You must be kidding! There was a very similar fuss made at the time about "SJWs" pushing their gay inclusivity agenda, loads of 0 reviews to skew metacritic, and even a very similar long thread on here with all the same arguments!
Really? I must have missed it. I know some people did complain lack of romance options for male NPC but there was nothing like SoD was getting. DAI has lot of glowing reviews in most places I have seen at release.
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April 6th, 2016, 16:32
Heh, I remember the same issue with the Witcher games.
Problem is that CDProjekt completely misunderstood sex in the Witcher universe.
The games ARE sexist, but the books are NOT (sex is a very somber activity in the original novels)
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April 6th, 2016, 16:32
Originally Posted by lostforever View Post
I don't believe people object to homosexuality etc. I mean Dragon Age Inquisition had lot of it and it never got any backlash as far as I am aware. The problem with this SoD was that the writer had lot of issues with the original BG games (she said so in couple of forums posts) and characters and they decided to change it and that got people mad…
And I don't give a fig for them if the a) backlash continues to be this outsized and out of proportion and b) "ethical" fig leaves continue to be placed on their efforts. I regard their flames as targeted and political in the same way US advocacy firms select favorable cases to take to the Supreme Court. The fig leaves are a grand indication that they know they have poor arguments and wish to cover them up with something more palatable. And as long as there is a not-insignificant number of that mob making vile threats, I have no patience or good will to give to the group.

I'm also reasonably suspicious that this has become politically organized in that alliances have been made with men's rights groups in the US. I'll wager money that this will continue in the same way that climate change and gun rights arguments do, with conspiracy theories, half knowledge, and lots of yelling.

edit: And yes, Ripper is correct about the kind and severity of complaints across any similar storytelling.
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April 6th, 2016, 16:36
Originally Posted by duerer View Post
Heh, I remember the same issue with the Witcher games.
Problem is that CDProjekt completely misunderstood sex in the Witcher universe.
The games ARE sexist, but the books are NOT (sex is a very somber activity in the original novels)
Witcher games are sexist? I don't understand?
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April 6th, 2016, 16:54
"was always softpedaled, because D&D wasn't a sex game, and we generally don't rub the reader's nose in sex unless there's a good in-story reason for it." -Greenwood

This is the gist of it I think for most people. The writer has an agenda and forces it into your face. Calling the original game sexist and saying she is going to fix it is unbelievably stupid.

I don't care if a character is gay or trans or whatever as long as its not put there to make a point like it was done in SOD.

Greenwood is right about the realms having them but they were always soft pedaled and never really to push a point so didnt bother me.

So this writer decided to push her views in everyone's face, insult a game many love and then said "too bad you chauvinist's". Well I also have a choice not to buy your game.
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April 6th, 2016, 16:57
Originally Posted by Saxon1974 View Post
"was always softpedaled, because D&D wasn't a sex game, and we generally don't rub the reader's nose in sex unless there's a good in-story reason for it." -Greenwood

This is the gist of it I think for most people. The writer has an agenda and forces it into your face. Calling the original game sexist and saying she is going to fix it is unbelievably stupid.

I don't care if a character is gay or trans or whatever as long as its not put there to make a point like it was done in SOD.

Greenwood is right about the realms having them but they were always soft pedaled and never really to pish a point so didnt bother me.

So this writer decided to push her views in everyone's face, insult a game many love and then said "too bad you chauvinist's". Well I also have a choice not to buy your game.
So protest the cramming *only* and attack people who make vile disgusting posts and death threats mercilessly. Calling out bad writing is fine. Overreacting and harassing people is not.
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April 6th, 2016, 17:01
Originally Posted by Bedwyr View Post
So protest the cramming *only* and attack people who make vile disgusting posts and death threats mercilessly. Calling out bad writing is fine. Overreacting and harassing people is not.
I agree with you. Death threats, personal attacks and harass others is NOT fine. But I don't know how you can stop people from doing that on the internet…

I don't know about overreacting though, I don't think we can have the internet without over reaction
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